5 Ways to Improve Televised Poker Part 3: Dress Code

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  • Published November 11th, 2012 in Poker

In the past few years we have seen televised poker overhauled, with ESPN and the World Series of Poker moving to live broadcasting, and other outlets also using the Internet to show live final-table streams. We have also seen hole-cards hidden until the conclusion of the hand (something I have long called for) giving the viewer a more “play-along” feel to the broadcast.

However, with these advancements there have also been some new issues that have reared their heads, most notably the slow, boring, pace of live poker. In this series I will look at five ways televised poker could be instantly improved, which in this installment will be the implementation of a dress code.

Here is a look at all five improvements I would put in place:

  • Commentary and Biographies
  • Incorporate a Shot Clock
  • Implement a Dress Code
  • Curtail “The Rail”
  • Overlay Pertinent Statistics

This has been an issue of mine for quite some time, so of course I’m going to talk about it in this series. I understand the counter argument that poker players (especially in a tournament where millions of dollars are on the line) should be comfortable, and stick to their usual habits. But there needs to be a trade-off where players take responsibility as representatives for poker, and not simply as a case of “I paid the rake so I can do whatever I want”.

So what kind of dress code am I talking about? I’m not advocating the Marcel Luske/Tony Dunst route where players need to wear suits, but what would be wrong with something basic like SHOES, SLEEVES, and PANTS! Enough with the sandals, the cargo shorts, and the tank tops, we’re not at the beach we are in an air-conditioned casino.

Secondly, let’s discuss head gear, specifically hats, sunglasses, and hoods. I’m sorry, but we are playing poker, not buying meth on the corner where we don’t want people to recognize us. If we lose the hats and take the hoods off our heads poker will benefit. This has been argued in other sports as the reason basketball players and baseball players are more marketable than football and hockey players; because people can see their faces.

So here is the rub:

  • Pants. Any pants from jeans to corduroys are acceptable, but NO SHORTS.
  • Shoes. There is no reason why people can’t wear sneakers instead of sandals or flip-flops. And no, you can’t take them off.
  • Shirts. At the very least a T-Shirt and nothing on the top of your head, no hats, if you’re wearing a hooded sweatshirt the hood stays down, and so on.

Basically if you couldn’t go into a restaurant you shouldn’t be allowed into a poker room.


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  • Posted in: Poker
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